Vizzini: "Inconceivable!" Inigo: "You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
When did you last feel like you really connected with some one as you talked?
Communication. Everyone does it. Largely we manage to get things done and seem to usually reach the same conclusions about what happened. Few, state that they are deficient in this basic skill. Yet, to those whose work is dependent upon communication, the pitfalls are only too obvious.
Consider this, why is it that nurses repeat surgeon's requests? Why do pilots have checklists and get confirmation from copious and air traffic before proceeding? It, obviously, is not a lack of skill or intelligence; no, it is the dependency on communication to be flawless in a critical task.
Fortunately, just talking to your spouse, your kid, or your employee (maybe they are both relative and employee) isn't critical. Oh, wait . . .
So, here some things to consider . . .
Do they/you . . . Demonstrate these Non-verbals?
- Maintain eye contact
- Nod or use other encouragers
- Have a neutral or positive facial expression
- Avoid distracting behaivors
- Face the speaker and lean slightly toward them
- Incorporate both the speaker and yourself in your comments
- Stay engaged and follow the speaker
Does their speaking include these traits?
- Respectful language (and behavior)
- Asks helpful, clarifying questions
- Keeps comments short to allow listener to follow
- Paraphrases and repeats speaker's points
- Let's speaker complete their thought
- Transitions smoothly from listener to speaker (and vice versa)
- Encourages agreements but able to state their opinions
If these things are happening, it is likely that as the speaker you will feel "heard" and as the listener you will gain greater information and insight!
Engaging Your Team is a free eBook about people. Understanding what makes them "tick" helps in communicating well to your employees, supervisors, and others. Download it free.